Integrity of the League

Sent to Commissioner Cohon

Commissioner Cohon,

I believe you are in a very difficult position in this situation but perhaps you could take a page from a commissioner of a different sport.

1976: During the season, Finley sends Gold Glover Joe Rudi and eventual Hall of Fame closer Rollie Fingers to the Red Sox for $1 million each, and ace Vida Blue to the Yankees for $1.5 million -- then massive amounts. It is a concession of the AL West title, and Finley has no intention of re-signing them after the season. But three days after the fire sale, Kuhn voids the deals, saying they are not in the best interest of baseball.

The original trade of an All-Star player for another All-Star player with future considerations given by both sides cannot be argued with from the standpoint of INTEGRITY.

Each team was trying to improve and willing to give up something of value to get it.

When Tom Canada indicated he was not going to report, it would have been tough to accept from a Hamilton perspective (although I am not sure if there would have been any recourse).

However, when it became apparent that Tom Canada was injured (accepting at face value the Brendan Taman claim that he was not aware that he was injured), the dynamics of the trade changed radically.

As the trade stands now it is patently unfair and the INTEGRITY of the league is now at issue:

Winnipeg receives an All-Star player and retains the rights to the All-Star player it had ostensibly traded. Winnipeg is now essentially bragging about that fact as reported on

The Blue Bombers do not want Canada to get the wrong idea and are glad to have him back to the fold.
"We didn't cut (Canada), we didn't say we didn't want you. We got Zeke Moreno (for) him and now we're able to get Zeke Moreno without giving him up, so he's got to take care of his health," said Taman to the Canadian Press.

Hamilton receives a draft pick; much less than the All-Star they originally bargained for, no guarantee of ever playing in the league let alone starring in it and of absolutely no help for current season.

Does Winnipeg avoid having Tom Canada's salary count against the cap for the rest of the year because they placed him on the 9-game injured list?

I believe there are only two fair options, both of which still penalize Hamilton:

  1. Void the trade in its entirety. Hamilton will have to deal with a disgruntled player.

  2. Complete the trade as originally constructed with the playing rights to Tom Canada going to Hamilton. And as compensation for not receiving a healthy player in return, a draft pick to Hamilton.

The marketing pitch for the year is "It's Our League". Damn right. It is not Tom Canada's league. His rights should revert to Hamilton, injured or not. If he chooses not to report to Hamilton that is his choice. He will then be unable to play in the CFL.

I am 46 years old and have been a loyal supporter of this league for as long as I remember. I am a lifelong Ti-Cat and CFL fan. I grew up in Hamilton but live in Winnipeg and have had season's tickets here for ten years. I go to games in other cities whenever possible.

However, if this trade is allowed to stand as currently conceived, I will not attend or watch another CFL game. The stench would be just too much.

John Milligan


Not holding out any hope. Bye all

Oh please.

Corey Mace cannot be forgotten in this.

He's 22 and a non-import. Zeke is 30 next month or so.

If Mace comes then this could be to our advatage AND we still have Winnipeg's first round pick.

Well in that case I'm overwhelmed with excitement Kirk!!

"IF" Mace comes, "IF" he is actually suited for the CFL and "IF" he turns out to be a good player....AND..."IF" we draft somebody good with that pick, we "MIGHT" be able to make this trade look respectable.

I'm sold.

To the original poster, well said and I'm with you. You have 26 years on me as far as supporting the CFL but that's just a result of my age....I feel the same way.

This trade was bad with Canada in it, but at least we get a player in return that we "KNOW" can play. (He is a headcase and I don't like him, but I know as well as anyone that he can rush the QB when he wants to.)

Without him in it, this trade is highway robbery.

I have tried to stay away and have said I would ignore this, but I just can't. I've loved this team my whole life and at this rate we will never get out of the basement.

And only "IF" Moreno was as good as so many make him out to be.

He's a highly paid import turning 30. Now's the time to trade him if you ever do.

I agree with Milligan's post. The whole deal from Winnipeg's side stinks, from the not knowing Canada was ill, even though TSN reports he has been so for weeks. To Canada's comments about Hamilton as a team and a city. If the league does not investigate the deal, then yes it's integrity has to come into question. If at the end of it all, Obie knew that Canada was not 100% then Hamilton got what was coming to it.

Agreed. Perfect time to trade him, but I still don't think you do it unless you get more in return. Nothing we picked up is a sure thing, but with Zeke, you know what you're going to get. (That's my point.)

If you ask me, Zeke has 5 good years of footbal left in him. He's durable, experienced and can be a dominate force in this league.

Normally when teams acquire a player in their prime, they give up a heck of a lot to get him. Not the case in this trade....completely one-sided and we won't know how one-sided until we see "IF" we get Mace and who we draft.

We really like to gamble don't we.

A valid argument.

...with Zeke, you know what you're going to get. (That's my point.)
I'm not so sure. I don't think he's got 5 years. He really does look like he's lost a step. MLB is a very tough spot to play for a long time.

Very near 30 with only a year and a half in the CFL is past his prime IMO, otherwise he'd still be in the NFL.

He's definately on the downside of his career.

Based on what? He was a backup in the NFL for 2 years when he started in 2001. Than in 2003 he started almost every game with the Chargers. After that season, he played a combined 13 games as a backup over two seasons from 2004-to-2005.

Really, he should have a lot of gas left in the tank. To me, his lack of time on the field would extend his's like a RB that carries the ball 300 times in one season as opposed to a guy with 150 touches. The more punishment you take the shorter your career will be.

Look at Junior Seau. The guy played 257 games in the NFL over a 17-year span.....and he ALWAYS started and never took a snap off unless he was injured.

Zeke has 61 NFL games and something like 26 CFL games in a seven-year span and he didn't even start in almost 2/3 of those NFL games. (Sure, there aren't many like Seau, but if you ask me Zeke is in the Prime of his career right now.)

And how has he lost a step? He is still making big plays, he's still making tackles all over the field...the problem is the players around him. That's the problem. Sure he makes mistakes, but that's what happens when you have an awful defence.

What, is the guy supposed to be the best player in the league every year? Nobody does that. He is still a solid starter and we know what he has in him.....we saw it last year and although he hasn't been the same player this year, it's unfair to say he isn't getting the job done when he lines up next to Mariuz and behind the worst defensive line in the league every game.

Enough said....there is no convincing me this was the right move.

Have fun watching Botterill line up at MLB.

I have to agree with the original poster here. This kind of stunt, trading damaged goods then pleading ignorance can not be tolerated. It amounts to fraud plain and simple. If this bad deal is allowed to go through with out an investigation by the league, then what's to stop Hamilton or any other team for that matter pulling the same stunt?


I agree with the opening post. We have had a lot of stench in Winnipeg this past year. As far as Canada is concerned, he does not want any part of Hamilton. Do you wish to have a player on your team who is disgruntled and a distraction and has disdain for the city ? Not a health situation. Taman may have known all along what was going on with Canada. The league has an obligation to investigate this deal.

The problem with this thought CK, is that if Hamilton signs Mace before the next draft, the pick becomes a 3rd rounder

I don't think that's right.
We get Winnipeg's 1st rounder no matter what.
The pick we're sending to them is the conditional one.
I think it starts out as a 3rd rounder, and if we sign Mace it becomes a 2nd rounder.